Series Two continues with one very long day for DCI John Luther (Idris Elba). Ripley (Warren Brown) has been taken hostage by the serial killer Cameron Pell (Lee Ingleby) whose end game is far more nefarious than a slowly rising body count. Luther is blackmailed by Jenny’s boss (Pam Ferris) who wants very much for Luther to silence a witness who could put her grandson Toby (David Dawson) in jail. And, just to top things off, Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson) decides to break into his apartment and pay him a visit. Like I said, big day.
The Pell storyline is completed here as Luther refuses to engage with the mentally disturbed young man who is torturing his partner. Pell’s final crime is as chilling as it is nefarious as it involves an entire bus load of school children who may never be heard from again. Only Luther stands in his way.
The blackmail storyline seems to come a little out of right field, and brutally so, but it forces Luther to act on his feet and not only intimidate the witness to change his testimony, with the help of Mark (Paul McGann), but he’s also got to figure out how to keep Jenny (Aimee-Ffion Edwards) safe afterwards. And just because he’s able to satisfy the blackmailers this time he knows he’s going to have to find a more permanent solution to save her life and his job.
The only real negative here is we get little more than a cameo by Alice Morgan towards the end of the episode. As packed full of drama, tension, and suspense as the episode is already that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it would have been hard to fit the character in during an earlier scene. The extremely odd relationship between the two characters works so well I simply wanted more.
Episode Two gives us another strong story where the mystery isn’t nearly important as the characters and the decisions they will be forced to make to survive another day. If you’re not watching Luther, you should be, but (as this episode illistrates so well) it’s not for the squeamish.